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matters                     the           unity.   The elders   are powerful

persons with their          followers who stand by them through

thick                 They ha\e the gift of speech.   They can persuade

create public oplnioa. Such natural leaders are

understandably few IE number In any village. They are fewer In

the unsophisticated tribal village.

This small number of Peddalu take counsel  together and

advise the chief oa any Issue.   Usually, the chief acts according to


Sometimes the chief, out of sheer arrogance, may take a

perverse decision. In such cases, the elders open their minds to

him in clear terms. They tell him that he is wrong. He should

revise Ms decision.

When the Situation comes to this pass, the chiefs decision

is opposed, by the elders : the chief has to retract, and accept their

wise counsel.

If the chief is unbending and wants to enforce his diktat

all alone, the elders withdraw their support to him. They also tell

the people to defy the chiefs decision. The people obey the

elders more than the chiefs : the chief is brought to his knees. He

is humbled for his hastiness.

Once the chief accepts the verdict of the Peddalu, he once

again regains his usual prestige and authority. The elders forgive

him. They endorse his actions.

Thus, the public opinion is controlled on the one hand

the absolutism of the chief is restrained on the other by the

Peddalu of the village.   They play the key role in the self-govern-

ment of the Gadaba society.